HANOVER, Ind. – Behind a strong showing in the pitching circle from junior Sydney Griffin (Cambridge City, Ind.), the Hanover softball team earned a doubleheader split against Hope (Mich.) at home Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers (8-4) took the opening game behind the arm of Griffin and a pair of three-run innings, 6-4. Hope (1-1), who is currently receiving votes in the national coaches' poll, jumped out to an early advantage in the second game, winning 6-1.
Griffin retired the first 11 batters she faced, with seven coming via strikeout. The junior took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as well. She would finish with 10 strikeouts, giving her three games this season with double-digit K's.
After leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, senior McKenzie Writt (Franklin, Ind.) rewarded the Panthers in the second inning with a two-out, three-run home run to left field. The long ball was just the second of Writt's collegiate career.
Hanover tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning, with all of the runners crossing home plate with two outs. Sophomore Shelby Edington (New Goshen, Ind.) drove in Writt and senior Dabney Skutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) with a double to left center and she later scored on a single from senior Sidney Powers (Indianapolis, Ind.).
Hope did its own two-out damage in the sixth and seventh innings, recording three runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh before finishing off each frame. Griffin however, worked out of a jam with two runners in scoring position in the seventh to secure the win in Game One.
Just as they finished the first half of the doubleheader, the Flying Dutch put together innings of one and three runs to lead 4-0 after two in Game Two. Skutt posted a RBI double in the bottom of the third and freshman Brittney Ralston (Lexington, Ind.) scored Hanover's first and only run of the contest. Trailing 6-1, the Panthers did tally three straight singles to open the bottom of the sixth, but a double play and ground out ended the scoring threat.
Skutt finished the day 4-for-7 at the plate and was the lone Panther to have multiple hits in each game Saturday. Edington added a 3-for-6 effort, including a 2-for-3 performance in Game Two.
Despite taking the loss in the second game, freshman Lily Beurman (Evansville, Ind.) worked around 11 hits to allow just two earned runs, while striking out five over 5.1 innings. Griffin closed out the night cap, finishing the day with 8.2 innings pitched, five hits and three earned runs allowed, and 13 strikeouts.
Hanover will now travel to face Ohio Northern for a pair of games beginning at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 14.
Contact: Tyler Jester